Columbus Blue Jackets Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky at the Deadline

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COLUMBUS, OH - OCTOBER 20: Artemi Panarin #9 of the Columbus Blue Jackets warms up prior to the start of the game against the Chicago Blackhawks on October 20, 2018 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)

The NHL trade deadline is quickly approaching, and the Columbus Blue Jackets have many trade deadline decisions to make. The two most import is, of course, Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky.

What will Columbus at the trade deadline

Panarin and Bobrovsky have been the topic of every Blue Jackets discussion since the beginning of the off-season. Both players contracts are up at the end of the season, and both players do not seem likely to re-sign. It would be hard to think that a front office that builds through the draft and develops players like the Blue Jackets would let these two walk.

The Panarin Situation

Panarin has been better than what the Blue Jackets could have imagined when they traded for him back in June of 2017. The 2016 Calder Trophy winner set the franchise record in points last season with 82 and already has 59 points with 31 games remaining.
Panarin is an elite scorer and will be one of the most targeted players at the trade deadline. Even when he is not scoring, he is opening up space for his linemates to score. He is the kind of player that can make a playoff team a legit Stanley Cup contender.

Likely Teams

The Boston Bruins, Nashville Predators, and Florida Panthers are all teams that have been reported to be likely trade partners. It seems almost sure that Panarin will be moved before 3 PM on February 25th.

The Blue Jackets held a press conference about no new developments in contract extension on January 29th. There will also be a team meeting yesterday pertaining the trade deadline, as well as the team’s, play as of recent days.

The Bobrovsky Situation

Bobrovsky is a different story than Panarin. It seems the relationship between the two-time Vezina Trophy winner and the CBJ front office has soured past the point of return. However, the trade talk surrounding him has not been as prevalent that of his teammate. This most likely has something to do with his play this season.

The Blue Jackets goalie has not produced stats that would be expected out of him this year. However, he has still shown multiple times that he is an elite goal at points in games. Bobrovsky has a GAA of 3.01 and a record of 19-16-1, once again these stats do not show the goalie he has proven to be time and time again.

Another reason why there might be fewer trade rumors is that of Bobrovsky’s playoff history. In history, Bobrovsky has not been an elite goalie when it came to the postseason. In fact, he has never won a playoff series. However, last year Bobrovsky was excellent against the Washington Capitals, it was the Blue Jackets penalty kill that ended up being the issue.

A Replacement

It is not as confident that Bobrovsky will be traded as it is Panarin. Is the Blue Jackets think they can try to re-sign him then they might wait till the off-season to see what happens. If they do trade him the most likely options is Joonas Korpisalo. Korpisalo has played well as the backup but not as well as the Russian goalie.

A Potential New Crease

If Bobrovsky is indeed traded, he can help an elite team make a deep playoff run if he plays like he did last spring. The Panthers and the New York Islanders have both been connected to the trade rumors involving Sergei Bobrovsky. It should also be noted that the Panthers just made a trade with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Derick Brassard and Riley Sheahan were sent to Florida but is expected to be part of a bigger deal.

Pittsburgh Penguins Acquire Nick Bjugstad, Jared McCann From Florida Panthers

The Blue Jackets should trade these players if they believe they will not re-sign at the end of this season. Letting two players of this caliber leave and not get anything in return does not seem like something this front office would do. Panarin being traded seems like a foregone conclusion while Bobrovsky being traded would not be a surprise.

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